What happens if you only exercise on the weekend?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 16, 2022

Do you struggle to workout during the week? While we recommend meeting the recommended amount of daily activity set forth in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans*, research suggests that the same amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) crammed into two sessions over the weekend - might be nearly as beneficial.

Study Summary

This study, which included data from 350,978 adults, concluded that:

  • Adults who get in the recommended amount of exercise throughout the week may have similar health benefits to those who concentrate an equivalent amount of activity into their weekend schedules.
  • Individuals who spread their workouts throughout the week have a 35% reduced risk of premature death when compared to those who are sedentary.
  • Individuals who cram their workouts into the weekend have a 30% reduced risk of premature death when compared to those who are sedentary.

The Hearty Take

At Hearty, we recommend that you aim for daily activity levels which meet the *Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: ≥150 minutes of moderate-intensity or ≥75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, and strength training 2 days per week. However, if you have been cramming your workouts into the weekend, you are still supporting your healthspan and lifespan. If you haven’t been able to add activity throughout the week into your schedule sustainably, reach out to your health coach!

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